December 02, 2023

Late-season scouting: Maximizing harvest and preparing for the future

Channel Field Check Up Series

With the harvest season fast approaching, it is the ideal time to look ahead and start developing plans for a successful harvest. Conducting preharvest scouting of corn can be beneficial in assessing the current season in preparation for harvest and planning for the next season.

By scouting and identifying issues that occurred during the growing season, farmers can determine management strategies to minimize issues in the future.

Specifically regarding corn, preharvest is one of the most important times of the season for farmers to scout their fields. This will provide farmers with the opportunity to recognize potential issues, such as stalk integrity concerns, and allows them to proactively navigate harvest challenges.

The most common fundamental cause for standability issues is simply the physiological process of the plant reallocating carbohydrates from the stalk to the ear during kernel fill.

When faced with stressful conditions during the growing season, such as nutrient loss, lack of rainfall during grain fill or high disease pressure, corn crops are at a greater risk for stalk integrity concerns.

Regardless of the specific cause of the weakened stalks, it is crucial to promptly identify these issues as soon as possible and utilize that information to adjust harvest plans to maximize yield potential.

Farmers who choose to plant Channel seed enjoy an extra advantage in creating their harvest plans: the expertise of a Channel Seedsman. Your Seedsman will use in-season information to help prioritize your fields for harvest.

Additionally, leveraging the Climate FieldView platform yield analysis tool enables you to understand early indications of product performance across your operation.

Your Seedsman will document observations from the stage visit — including adding notes on product performance — through FieldView. These stage observations will include pins and photos and will be delivered to you in a Custom Crop Report.

Furthermore, your Seedsman can assist you in preparation for next season by utilizing FieldView harvest data. This data-driven approach allows for better product positioning and utilization of early order seed programs and provides valuable insights on product supply and demand.

Overall, incorporating preharvest scouting and leveraging the expertise of a Channel Seedsman, along with the utilization of advanced digital tools, empowers farmers to optimize their harvest plans, enhance crop performance and lay the groundwork for future success.

As the harvest season approaches in Illinois, farmers can consider these tips to harvest maximum yield potential.

Be mindful of fields that were under drought stress early as they may show an increased likelihood of late-season stalk diseases. This could lead to standability issues as harvest progresses.

It’s likely that the stalk reserves were used to fill grain, which could lead to this issue. Fields sprayed with a tassel or later fungicide application may be of lower risk.

It is always worth the time to have your Channel Seedsman provide some pre-harvest stalk evaluation for harvest prioritization.

For more information about crop development and field evaluations, contact your local Channel Seedsman or refer to the Agronomy Library at

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